SavannahLessons Learned, Make a Change Leave a Comment

Fall is my favorite season. It’s my favorite time of year. Chilly weather, colorful leaves, sweaters, jeans, and boots bring such joy and peace to my heart. I guess I enjoy fall so much because of its symbolism. Fall is the death of what was known and the welcoming of what is unknown. This is symbolic of our lives. Sometimes, everything we know and that makes sense about our lives has to die and we have to welcome the unknown into our lives.

Pink used to be my favorite color. I mean everything I owned was pink. Clothes, shoes, toys, bedding, curtains, everything was pink. And then one day, I realized that Pepto Bismol was pink and I’ve despised that color ever since. As silly of an example as that is, it perfectly sums up my point. Everything I thought I knew about myself had to die. No more pink cookies, bubblegum, or ice cream. No more pink clothing, shoes, or books. No more pink toys, bedding, or curtains. No more pink anything, because pink officially grossed me out. The pink loving person inside me had died and I didn’t know what other colors were out there for girls to like (oh, the struggles of a nine year old). But then I found purple and now just about everything I own has purple somewhere on it, even if it’s just a thread. My bedroom walls are lavender and sea foam green. Purple shoes and bows (I’ve decided I’m never growing up. It’s going to be a successful protest. Just wait) are a part of my daily wardrobe. In other words, even though the known part of me “died”, I welcomed the unknown part with arms wide open.

We all have a choice to make when a part of us “dies” maybe our favorite color changes, maybe the passion for our hobby dies out, maybe our closest friend grows in a different direction. The choice to make is whether or not to welcome the change. Change can be beneficial or detrimental and it’s all up to you to decide what it’s going to be in your life. Are you going to be welcoming and make the most out of it even if it’s not what you ever thought it would be? Are you going to close yourself off and protest change even if it could be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to you?

I love kids. Preschool, elementary, or middle/high school age it doesn’t matter. There’s something so special about taking someone younger than you and pouring love, encouragement, and advice into them and seeing how it changes them. There’s nothing like seeing someone that you have poured into come running up to you with their arms stretched out for a hug asking how you are. Spending time with lovelies, getting to know their hearts, and learning to love them no matter the scars on your heart or theirs is incredibly meaningful to them and you. When I started working with students a couple years ago, my life changed. A piece of me died just to be replaced by a passion that I am bettered for existing. Students are lost (and I don’t mean they aren’t saved). They are lost, looking for answers that only God can provide. They are craving someone who is older and can guide them in the direction of the cross where they will find true meaning and purpose. When this happens, they are changed. They die to the old person who had no meaning and no purpose and they gain life in abundance. But they don’t always know what to do with this new life and new purpose. How do they live it out? How do they traverse the struggles that teenage years face? They need someone older who will listen, encourage, love, pray, and give advice to them about the toughest things yet to face.

Mentors are important. They have the opportunity to help teach those around them how to react, embrace, learn, and love. They get to lead by example and teach the right way to do things. Students and kids always watch the older people in their lives closely. They copy as much as they about that person and have an innate desire to be like them. Maybe they like their clothes, maybe they like their friend group, or maybe they like the way they love Jesus, it doesn’t matter what they like about them because they will try to copy it as best as they can. Because they see this person who has taken the changes that life has thrown at them and seemingly made it for the better.

But what most of these students don’t realize is that change, quite frankly, can stink. Saying goodbye is hard. Welcoming the new with open arms is difficult even for the strongest of people. We want to know exactly what we will be facing. We want to know exactly what will happen. One of my all-time favorite songs is called “Someday” by PureNRG (if anybody else knows of this band, then that is truly telling of our age and taste in music). The first phrase in this song is, “If it was up to mr, my life would be a blue print on the table, And every year would have a label. I would know precisely the day that you would come and find me.” Obviously the message of this song is that someday the singers will find their love, but in the meantime, they are content to know that God has a plan and knows it backwards and forwards. My point in using this example is that most of us would love to have our life be a blueprint on a table with every year having a label. We would love to know what, when, and how our lives will change.

Change is inevitable. Change is messy sometimes. Change is painful. We strive for continuity, excellence, and consistency. Yet, just as the fall comes every year to lead the way for winter, change will also always come and make way for bigger and better things if only you believe it will. But God has a plan for your life and knows it backwards and forwards. He knows what this fall season is leading up to. Unlike the seasons, we need help with change. Our human nature demands that we practice hesitation when anything around us is different. Mentors are needed to help us make the transition of change from fall into winter.

I am so thankful for all the mentors in my life this season and every season. They help to make the transition of change be lighter and easier welcomed. I am in the center of a time with many changes and my mentors are truly helping. I am ready to welcome these upcoming changes of winter with excitement and hope. I’m excited to finally be going to a “real” school, and to experience all the joys, stress, and heartache that go along with it. I am hopeful that my journey will only continue to go up from here as life is what you make it.

Seniors, this “fall” is what you make it. Look at it with a positive outlook and make the most of your last few months in fall. Find just one good thing and get totally excited about it. In fall, leaves fall from trees and make a mess. Everything gets covered in old, dead leaves and the thought of raking them is intimidating. But, the view of all those leaves changing colors (and technically dying, but just don’t focus on that part) is so incredibly beautiful and worth the task of raking (or blowing) up the dry leaves. Get totally stoked about the amazing pictures you’ll take of those fall colors and suddenly fall doesn’t seem near as gross or depressing as it did before.

Fall is symbolic of change. And change really is a good thing if you make it out to be.

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